Of particular note was the story of a young woman who pretended to be on the phone to Domino’s Pizza to alert police of the violent man in her house. The exchange with emergency services went a little like this:
“911, where is you emergency?”
“123 Main St.”
“Okay, what’s going on there?”
“I’d like to order a pizza for delivery.”
“Ma’am, you’ve reached 911”
“Yeah, I know. Can I have a large with half pepperoni, half mushroom and peppers?”
“Ummm…. I’m sorry, you know you’ve called 911 right?”
“Yeah, do you know how long it will be?”
“Ok, Ma’am, is everything okay over there? Do you have an emergency?”
“Yes, I do.”
“..And you can’t talk about it because there’s someone in the room with you?”
Naturally, people were impressed. The police arrived, the attacker was arrested. Good trumped bad, the story had a happy ending.
But what about those scenarios where stress doesn’t invite clear thinking? And what do you do if you are in immediate danger, but can’t open your mouth to call anyone about it?